Grandparenting 101: The New Frontier
BY RICHARD AND LINDA EYRE
Today, Grandparenting is where Parenting was two generations ago. Back then, “parenting” was hardly a word—and books or programs or ideas on the subject were hard to find. Since then, happily, Parenting has become an art and a pursuit. We believe that the same thing will now happen with Grandparenting.
Today, while parenting books, programs, websites, podcasts, and seminars are ubiquitous, very little is offered for grandparents, which is a bit ironic since grandparenting is more fun, and since most of us will be grandparents for 30 or 40 years—twice as long as we were active parents with kids living at home.
And in today’s society, Grandparents may be our greatest resource. Raising responsible kids has never been more complex and challenging, and with parents becoming busier and more occupied professionally than ever before, the factor that may often spell the difference for kids will be how involved and proactive their grandparents are in their lives.
Polls show that most grandparents consider their grandkids to be “the best part of life,” yet there are few resources or “how-to” guides around. So…just as Christine and her team decided that there needed to be a magazine for GRANDparents, we have decided that Grandparents need the kind of books, podcasts, and interactive seminars that provide ideas on what really works with adult children and with grandkids.
In fact, what we really need, and what our society needs, is a movement of more committed, more prepared, and more involved and proactive grandparents. And what better place tIo start such a movement than with the readers of GRAND magazine? We are inviting you to join that movement!
But for starters, we each need to ask ourselves the key question of “What kind of a grandparent do I want to be?” There are four potential answers:
A Disengaged Grandparent: “I raised my kids and now it’s their turn to raise their kids; I’m done.”
A Limited Grandparent: “I love to see them but in limited doses and on my terms.”
A Supportive Grandparent: “My kids need all the help they can get with their kids and I want to be there for them.”
A Proactive Grandparent: “My children are the stewards for their children, but I can teach these grandkids things their parents can’t and be an essential part of an organized three-generation family. By developing a strategy and a plan, I can make a real difference in my grandkids’ lives, even as I add joy to my own life and keep myself young.”
If we choose #4, we are going to need some help. Because let’s face it, this is new to us, and it’s easy to be ineffective or even counterproductive—or to offend our kids (the parents) by trying to “take over.”
We have begun to develop a Zoom Seminar that will bring together the best resources, the best ideas, and the best practices of involved committed grandparents across the world. In this multi-part, interactive seminar, grandparents will learn:
- “What’s Next?” Why your grandkids should be a major priority in the Autumn of life
- The art and power of Grandparenting: What you can do that parents can’t
- Building trusting, confidence-giving relationships with grandchildren
- Why the Empty Nest can be painful, and how to ease the angst and learn the pleasure
- How to give parenting advice without offending your adult children
- Extending the kind of financial help to grandkids that empowers rather than entitles
- How to release your role of manager and replace it with your new role of consultant
- Why “just over the hill” is the best place to be in life (the remarkable gifts of age)
- Working from the inside out—designing the new YOU
- The “Ten Empty Folders” approach to planning the rest of your life, and why 65 is the new 45
- Seven Key Decisions you can make now that will enrich the full remainder of life
- How an Empty Nest Marriage is different, and how to make yours better
- “Grandfather’s Secrets” and “Grammie Camps”
- It takes a village: Forming an efficient partnership with your kids for your grandkids
- Separate break-out groups for Grandmothering and Grandfathering (let’s face it, they are two different things)
As a GRAND reader, we invite you to be a part of this movement and to participate in this seminar in its beginning or beta phase. Click here for more information.
We are calling it Grandparenting 101 because it presents the most important and basic aspects of being a relevant and proactive grandparent. But it also goes beyond the basics and will make you one of the most competent and effective grandpas or grandmas on the planet! So join us! Simply send your name and email address to EyresGrandparenting101@gmail.com and we will send you the various options for involvement and participation.
And for additional support and ideas, please subscribe and follow our podcast Eyres on the Road (get it on any podcast app) and on our Instagram @RichardLindaEyre.
Read more from Richard and Linda Eyre here
ABOUT THE AUTHORS: RICHARD AND LINDA EYRE
GRAND is pleased to welcome New York Times #1 Bestselling Authors Richard and Linda Eyre as regular columnists. The Eyres’ parenting and life-balance books have reached millions and been translated into a dozen languages. As fellow baby boomers, their passion and their writing focus has now shifted to the joy of grandparenting. Linda’s latest book is Grandmothering, and Richard’s is Being a Proactive Grandfather, each of which is reviewed in this issue.